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HEALTH

EXPLAINED: How to use Chronodoses to get a last-minute Covid vaccination in France

All adults in France may now book an appointment to get a leftover Covid-19 vaccination dose - provided they can find an available slot. As this is proving difficult in many areas, we take a look at the helpful 'Chronodoses' site that does the search for you.

EXPLAINED: How to use Chronodoses to get a last-minute Covid vaccination in France
You may not get vaccinated by French Health Minister Olivier Véran, but this tool will speed up the process to get your dose. Photo: Thomas Padilla / POOL / AFP

To prevent wasting leftover doses, France this week made it possible for anyone – no matter if they belong to a priority group of not – to book last-minute appointments to get their jab.

Those aged between 18 and 50 who would otherwise have to wait until mid-June to become eligible for the anti-Covid inoculation are therefore now allowed to book a slot – if they can find a free one that is within the next 24 hours.

Later appointments remain reserved to over-50s, according to the French vaccination priority calendar.

As the scramble for doses began, French data scientist Guillaume Rozier, the creator of the much-used tool CovidTracker, has together with his team created an online platform that hunts out last-minute appointments.

READ ALSO: The French vocab you need to get the Covid vaccine

Their ‘Chronodoses’ website is linked to DoctoLib, the most widely used of France’s online medical platforms, plus other appointment platforms including Maiia, KelDoc and OrdoClic. 

After finding an available slot, the site redirects users to one of these to make the appointment.

Here’s how to use Chronodoses

Go to the website Vite Ma Dose ! (Quickly my dose!), another Rozier-created online tool that helps anyone find a vaccination appointment in their area (not necessarily in the next 24 hours).

Type in your city, town or post code.

Once you have chosen your area, you may select “chronodoses uniquement“, on the top right side of the site, to have the website search for free slots today or tomorrow in your area.

The site will then tell you how many last-minute appointments there are in your area, and how many vaccination centres these are spread across.

For example, the below example shows 331 free slots in eight different vaccination centres around the southern port-city of Marseille.

By scrolling down, you can select the centre closest to you.

For each centre the website shows how many free appointments (créneaux) there are, just below “prendre rendez-vous” (make an appointment).

In this case there are 200 appointments available.

However slots get snapped up quickly, so you might not be able to find an appointment in your area the first time you check the website.

When the platform went live on May 11th there were 200,000 users visiting Vite Ma Dose, many of whom were looking for Chronodoses, Rozier tweeted.

Due to high traffic on the site Wednesday, the creators of the website noted that there could be a delay of up to 30 minutes between Chronodoses and Doctolib. This meant that users clicking on an available slot on Chronodoses might get a message from Doctolib that there were no appointments left.

The site will probably get less busy as time goes on, and the weekend around the Ascension holiday might be a particularly good time to snap up a slot.

Note also that some appointments are available with Maiia and not Doctolib, or vice versa. You see which platform is offering the slot just next to “créneaux“, below “prendre rendez-vous“.

Here, for example, there are 78 free slots with Doctolib.

Once you find the centre you want to book with, click on “prendre rendez-vous“.

The website then directs you to the site which offered the appointments, where you select the category you are looking for, often it is “places restantes“. Then select that you are coming in for a first injection (sometimes you also have to select the vaccine type).

The website should then provide an overview of its next available slots. Make sure you book one in the next 24 hours – even if the platform gives other options – if you are not in a priority group.

After you choose your slot, fill out the remaining information the platform asks of you, and, voilà !  You are free to go to your appointment.

More information about how the actual vaccination is done HERE

And if you worry about making yourself understood in French, our vocab guide to get a vaccine in France might help.

Member comments

  1. Do 1st & 2nd shots have to be in same location? So if visiting away from home & can find a next day appointment, can you get 2nd back at home?

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POLITICS

‘Public opinion is ready’ – These French senators want to legalise marijuana

A group of 31 French senators of the Socialist, Green and Republican parties have come together to write a statement calling for the legalisation of marijuana in France.

'Public opinion is ready' - These French senators want to legalise marijuana

France is known for having some of the strictest laws regarding marijuana consumption in Europe – while simultaneously maintaining one of the highest rates of cannabis usage in the EU. 

A group of French senators – coming from the Socialist, Green and centre-right Les Républicains parties – are trying to change those laws, and have come together to call for marijuana to be legalised in France.

The group of 31 co-signed a statement published in French newspaper, Le Monde, on Wednesday, August 10th.

In the statement, the senators promised to launch a ‘consultation process’ to submit a bill to legalise marijuana “in the coming months.”

The proposition was headed by Senator Gilbert-Luc Devinaz, a member of the Socialist Party, and gained support from the party’s leader, Patrick Kanner.

READ MORE: The long and winding road towards changing France’s cannabis laws

A report by the Assemblé Nationale, which was published in May 2021, estimated that nearly 18 million French people (more than 25 percent of the population) had already consumed marijuana, and that an additional 1.5 million consume it regularly.

This, coupled with the 2019 finding that nearly one in two French people (45 percent) said they were in favour of legalisation, according to a survey by the French Observatory of Drugs and Drug Addiction (OFDT), helped strengthen the senators’ position.

“Public opinion is ready, the legislature must act,” they wrote.

Their senators argue that legalising marijuana in France will allow the authorities to better protect French citizens, saying that legalising would not require “minimising the health impacts of cannabis consumption” but rather would allow regulation similar to “public policies for tobacco, alcohol or gambling.”

For the group of 31 senators, the benefits of legalisation would involve a better control over the “health quality of products consumed,” “curbing trafficking in disadvantaged areas,” developing large-scale prevention plans,” and finally the taxation of cannabis products and redirection of law enforcement resources. Decriminalisation – in their opinion – would not be sufficient as this would simply “deprive authorities the ability to act,” in contrast to legalisation. 

READ MORE: Is France moving towards legalising cannabis for recreational purposes?

“In the long term, new tax revenues would be generated from the cannabis trade and from savings in the justice and police sectors”, which would make it possible to mobilize “significant resources for prevention as well as for rehabilitation and economic development,” wrote the senators.

In France, the conversation around cannabis has evolved in recent years – former Health Minister (and current government spokesman) Olivier Véran said to France Bleu in September 2021 that “countries that have gone towards legalisation have results better than those of France in the last ten years,” adding that he was interested in the potential therapeutic use of cannabis.

Currently, the drug is illegal in France. Previously, it fell under a 1970-law of illicit drug use, making it punishable with up to a year prison and an up to €3,750 fine.

However, in 2020, the government softened the penalties, making it possible for those caught consuming it to opt for an on-the-spot fine of €200.

There is also an ongoing trial involving 3,000 patients to test the impacts of medical marijuana usage, particularly with regard to pain relief. 

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